Up until quite recently, if anyone had asked me, I would have sworn that Manual Labour was the Prime Minister of Mexico. Seriously if I’d been born a dinosaur I would have been a Mybakisaur. (Groan – Ed). Ok, that’s not a real dinosaur but you get my drift. But now, after playing Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition I feel like a born again handy man. Hailing from Software Entwicklung, the same people who brought us the widely acclaimed Oscar the discoverer, Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition is a Nintendo Switch port of a very successful mobile game. In it you play the role of a wannabe construction mogul out to build himself (or herself) an empire. And you do this by buying tons of shiny diggers, JCB’s, flatbed with cranes and taking any job that comes your way.
For anyone not to familiar with the refined art of laying bricks and mixing cement, Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition offers an introductory training class which consists mainly of learning to drive a huge truck and park it. That’s it. Now you’re good to go. At the start of the game you get to choose your avatar, give your new empire a name (I called mine MegaCorp because it sounded big) and, on completing your adhoc training, you hire your instructor as your foreman. Set in a fictional desert region of the US called WestSide Plains, you’ll find yourself spending most of your time driving from location to location, buying raw materials and carrying out a range of building-related tasks which vary in complexity from digging a hole to road construction and repair and building an entire construction. Successfully complete your goal and you earn money which you can use to buy more vehicles.
The fact that there are over 40 different vehicles and machines to acquire means you’re going to have to amass a tonne of loot. If, on the off-chance, you don’t have enough spare cash to buy the right tools for the job, Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition allows you to rent what you need and buy it later. But a word of warning; everything costs money here (surprise, surprise) and very quickly you’ll realise that after just a few hours of game play, your pockets are beginning to look like rabbit ears. As this is a sim-type game, some of the rules of the real world are applied with vigour. Crash a red light and you’ll be fined, drive too fast and you’ll be fined. Even thinking about crashing into another vehicle will mean…yes, you’ve guessed it, another hefty fine.
The controls on the Nintendo Switch do take some getting used to. In many vehicles, the left and right thumbstick control different parts of the vehicle while clicking down on the right thumbstick will alternate whether you’re controlling the vehicle or the camera.
Graphically, Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition is clearly a port which has been given a new coat of paint. The vehicles are incredibly well rendered and, as far as I can tell, pretty darn accurate. The towns and buildings are lively and populated with pedestrians and a surprising amount of traffic on the roads. The game environment reminded me of the early days of GTA – which is a good thing even in 2019. When you choose your destination, you set a waypoint and have a handy permanent map at the top of your screen helping you get from A to B. Yes, this is a port but it’s a visually impressive and technically competent one.
Audio wise, Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition recreates all of the engine sounds you’d associate with the construction vehicle you’re driving at the time. A gentle musical score plays in the background and, if you didn’t have to fulfil a set goal, you could easily while away the hours just driving around and feeling as though you were really behind the wheel of a 20 tonne construction vehicle. There are hundreds of missions on offer here and many of them will take you hours to complete. The game is a slow and thoughtful experience which, in itself, may put some players off but may piqué your interest if you’re a sim fan.
For someone who’s never set foot on a construction yard I was genuinely surprised at just how engrossing and entertaining this game is. Unlike some of the tedious farming type sims on offer, Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition is packed with enough variety and challenge to keep you playing for weeks and maybe even months at a time. The variety of missions goes hand in hand with high re-playability which makes the asking price a bargain.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Construction Simulator 2 US - Console Edition Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10
Packed with enough variety and challenge to keep you playing for weeks and maybe even months at a time.